Axel-In-Charge: Extending "Secret Wars," Excitement for a "Totally Awesome Hulk"
The biggest Brunch ever? Quite possibly. All the news that’s fit to pimp!
ALAN MOORE VS. THE WORLD: In case you missed it, here’s a link to that Alan Moore interview at Bleeding Cool that everyone’s talking about:
Now, I stepped in and said to Dave that actually, no I had grown so sick of WATCHMEN over these last 18 months that I didn’t want the rights back anymore. If they had offered them back to me back when I wanted them, ten, twenty years ago, then maybe this could have all been resolved in a friendly fashion. But no, I wasn’t going to take the rights back at this stage after they had pretty much, in my opinion, raped what I had thought to be a pretty decent work of art. I didn’t want them throwing me back the spent and exhausted carcass of my work and certainly not under terms that would apparently allow them to go on producing witless sequels and prequels ad infinitum.
RANDOM THOUGHT! I would totally buy an “Alan Moore vs. the World” comic in which the author must defeat his seven evil ex-stories or ex-artists or somesuch.
ITEM! Jog and Matt Seneca team up to critique Jack Kirby’s 2001: A Space Odyssey alongside Jim Steranko’s Outland in one mammoth installment:
Which makes me think. Both of these comics are really good, individual pieces that I’m obviously glad we have, but I do wonder about the weird tonal inconsistencies between comic and film versions that dog both. I feel like maybe Steranko would have been better suited to adapt the cold, hard, futurist 2001, where narrative and story are often secondary to psychedelic visual innovation, and Kirby could have done a better version of the more classically-structured, human Outland, really milked the genre grit and emotional iron of the space-western for all it was worth. Because in harsh reality neither of these comics are lasting, fundamental works — they’re ephemera, and it seems to me that they didn’t necessarily have to be that way. But they’re both just a little bit too flawed.
ITEM! Jim Rugg wants you to read his Rambo 3.5 mini-comic for free, so you should do that very thing, even though my review was less than favorable. The art, though, is gorgeous, so give it a look. You’ve got five minutes to spare:
I would submit that it isn’t just the comics industry but all the creative arts in general that are now hiding in the storm cellar waiting for the savage hurricane of The New Economy to blow through. Finding out if your house was flattened will depend on whether you were in a trailer park or a nice house on bedrock to begin with.
OBLIGATORY CHRIS SIMS DOUBLE FEATURE: Sims has penned some excellent articles over at ComicsAlliance in the past couple weeks. First off, there’s his latest bit of Batmanology:
The very existence of Batman perpetuates itself. The fact that Bruce Wayne puts on that costume and fights against crime changes everything. It’s the other side of the argument that Batman creates his own villains — he also creates his own allies. He inspires others in the same way that he himself was inspired, but does so by removing tragedy and replacing it with an ideal. Batman turns tragedy into justice, not just by punching out criminals, but by giving people something to believe in and aspire to.
And secondly, his stunning analysis of Fantastic Four #50’s place in the comics canon:
It’s the core storytelling difference between the Galactus saga and its contemporaries at DC: That things don’t just threaten the heroes for eight pages at a time before being banished. They’re always out there somewhere, they’ve always been there, and — another extremely key point — they don’t always result from an absolute evil. It’s the first nail in the coffin of the Silver Age, and the start of the next forty years of comics having a love-hate relationship with “realism” and the metaphors creators use to deliver it.
ITEM! The Let’s Be Friends Again guys prove that the Bible would be way more badass with superheroes:
RANDOM THOUGHT! I can never tell when people are talking about Irredeemable versus Incorruptible. My brain only comprehends Inxxxxxxxble and automatically fills in one or the other. I get confused so easily this way.
RANDOMER THOUGHT! Matter-Eater Lad clearly has no superpowers, but just suffers from pica. Where is Psychiatry Lass when you need her?
RE:COVERED: Some great stuff at Covered! within the past month or so. Here’s Brandon Michael Barker on Thor and David King giving us some hot Bob Hope action:
The only thing not awesome about that panel is the incorrect use of “its.”
ITEM! Over at Bad Librarianship, Brendan McCarthy discusses Spider-Man: Fever, out now (now? I think now) in trade, but, being Brendan McCarthy, that leads to him talking about life, the universe, and everything:
It’s interesting to observe people who cultivate a special ‘mystique’ around themselves. It’s called ‘glamour’ in the old meaning of the word — to be enchanted and beguiled.
But the ego, that which wants to be seen as ‘special’, is also a beguiling enchantment — a mind-story that is lived inside of for all our lives. What is known as ‘self-realization’ or ‘enlightenment’ is the falling away of the core belief in a separate ‘personal self’ that is running ‘your’ life. The life force is powering everything anyway — You are not the doer. The awareness that is reading this right now is actually the true center. The fuzzy cognizing space that you are looking out of gives rise to the egoic thought-construct called ‘me’ and its subsequent story.
Simply put: Everything is happening to no-one.
AACK! Shaenon K. Garrity writes about the importance of Cathy now that the strip is drawing to a close:
After decades of mainstream popularity, Cathy is still widely disliked by pop-cult elites like you and me. It whirls eternally between the Scylla and Charybdis of gender essentialism: men don’t like it because it’s about girly stuff, and feminist women don’t like it because it’s about girly stuff. Anti-feminists don’t have reason to like it either, what with the single-career-woman heroine who’s always been as open as newspaper syndication will allow about her casual sex life. That leaves just one demographic: women who are all for liberation and being your own woman and all that, but can’t quite figure out how to reconcile it with their actual lives. Women who never stopped feeling the pressure to cook like Betty Crocker and look like Donna Reed, and just added to it the pressure to change the world like Gloria Steinem. In other words, almost every woman of the Baby Boom generation.
THIS REMINDS ME OF THIS DEPT: So some behind-the-scenes shots of Captain America’s stunt double on a motorcycle have leaked, and it’s deja vu all over again for me. After all, doesn’t this (via Bleeding Cool)…
…make you think of a certain Reb Brown?:
ITEM! Colin Smith has been taking looks at recent releases and shaking his head in frustration– except when it comes to Scarlet #2:
Cleverly, her words increase our empathy with her while distancing us from applauding her acts, for the greatest danger of the urban vigilante tale is that it ends up, despite often laudable attempts not to, as arguing for the principle that Bernhard Goetz was right. When, for example, Scarlet follows her execution of a policeman with the statement “I tried. You saw I tried.”, the reader is thrown out of the text by the realisation that they didn’t see anything of the kind, and it’s such a clever business that it makes me want to applaud. For how else could the text had contained this degree of moral anchoring without disrupting the pleasures of the tale of how the apparently-harmless Scarlet hunted down those beastly men? For, yes, it is a case of a writer wanting all the thrills of the vigilante-exploitation genre without succumbing to its dubious morality, but that’s actually rather impressive rather than contemptible. For to be made to enjoy seeing exceedingly corrupt cops suffer while never being for a moment expected to believe that any of this is a good thing is a clever balancing trick well-executed.
ITEM! Tim Hodler shares a find– the Anti-Wertham, the co-founder of the Libertarian party (for really reals), David Nolan, who once promoted comics’ glorious right-wing leanings!
ITEM! This guy loves Aquaman, which makes him good people.
ITEM! Evan Shaner draws an awesome Captain Marvel at ComicTwart:
Click the link for the rest of the piece. It’s a doozy.
REMAKE/REMOD– I MEAN, DOCTOR WHO DE– WAIT– HOLD ON: Whitechapel hosts the best Remake/Remodel ever, with Warren Ellis challenging artists to imagine the Doctor’s future, 13th, final incarnation. All the stops are pulled! There are a dozen or more entries I’d love to share with you, but you’re gonna have to click the link! Here are some fabulous pieces by Ben Templesmith, Pia Guerra, Paul Sizer, and Annie Wu, who drew what I was thinking:
That’s all the murder she wrote for this week, gang. See you next time.
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